Orchard Road is not known as Singapore’s “shopping street” for nothing. Named after the plantations that lined it during the 1940s, it is today home to the world’s most prominent luxury labels, as well as stylish indie stores stocking hard-to-find labels and unexpected gems from across Asia. However, it is not just the vast variety of shopping that’s a draw. There are also choice dining and wining options located alongside quaint cafés to whet your appetite, so you can shop all day.
The main shopping strip of Orchard Road is home to both high-fashion and high-street retailers, catering to both clued-in shoppers and the masses. There are Prada, Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo at Paragon Shopping Centre (290 Orchard Road, 6738-5535), Louis Vuitton and Dior at ION Orchard (2 Orchard Turn, 6238-8228), Fendi, Chanel and Hermès at Ngee Ann City (391 Orchard Road, 6506-0461), and Michael Kors, Anne Fontaine and Paul & Joe at Scotts Square (6 Scotts Road, 6733-1188), the newest luxury space here. These malls are spacious and inviting, offering world-class customer service. Popular high-street stores like H&M at Orchard Building (1 Grange Road, 6735-6370), Topshop at Knightsbridge (270 Orchard Road, 6593-6999) and Uniqlo at 313@somerset (313 Orchard Road, 6496-9313) promise plenty of affordable buys in a myriad of styles imaginable. You’re sure not to leave empty-handed either way.
The city is also home to some of the best multi-label indie boutiques in the world, stocking fashion that represents the best of contemporary design. Some of the rarest international cult brands like Undercover and Ganryu can be found at Club 21b at Forum The Shopping Mall (583 Orchard Road, 6732-2469) while Inhabit—The Other Store at Mandarin Gallery (333A Orchard Road, 6831-6363) offers desirable international and regional clothing labels like MM6 by Maison Martin Margiela from Paris and Song for the Mute from Australia.
For something uniquely Singaporean, Hansel, also at Mandarin Gallery, is local fashion designer Jo Soh’s cheery take on contemporary women’s wear with a vintage twist. The Reckless Shop at Orchard Central will please the fashion forward with its unconventional use of materials and silhouettes, while internationally renowned Ashley Isham, also in the same mall, stocks gorgeous, elaborate evening gowns for women. Those looking for something edgier can check out Depression at Orchard Cineleisure (8 Grange Road, 6235-1155) or Saturday at Wheelock Place for out-of-this-world designs and bold silhouettes that will make any wearer stand out from the crowd.
Dining & Nightlife
After all that hard work, chill out at some of the best cafés and bars in the area. Take your pick from cafés like Arteastiq (#04-14/15 Mandarin Gallery, 6235-8370), Wild Honey (#03-02 Mandarin Gallery, 6235-3900; #03-01/02 Scotts Square, 6636-1816), Jones the Grocer (#04-21/23 Mandarin Gallery, 6836-6372) and Dean & Deluca (#04-23/24 Orchard Central, 6509-7708). Their great coffee, tea, all-day breakfast items and desserts are guaranteed to perk you up. If you’re looking for something stronger to help you cool off, stop by Ice Cold Beer and No. 5 Emerald Hill along Emerald Hill for beers and spirits that won’t break the bank (especially during happy hour which typically starts from 5 pm onward).
While you’re in Orchard, catch a glimpse of The Istana, located close to Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station. The Istana is the official residence of the president of Singapore and features stunning British architecture. Farther down the road toward City Hall and Bras Basah, you’ll also find two of Singapore’s biggest museums, the Singapore Art Museum (71 Bras Basah Road, 6332-3222) and the National Museum of Singapore (93 Stamford Road, 6332-5642). The Singapore Art Museum holds a permanent collection of approximately 7,000 South and East Asian contemporary and modern art pieces, while exhibitions at the National Museum of Singapore investigate 700 years of Singapore’s rich history and diverse culture.